What the hell Maryland?
After eight weeks, there is finally an update on the Maryland football investigation. According to the Washington Post, the report found that “…the Maryland football team did not have a ‘toxic culture’, but it did have a culture where problems festered because too many players feared speaking out,”.
….Is that not a toxic culture? The full report is large, topping out at 198 pages. In it is some very damning information. One section of the report details “Players Exposed to Graphic Videos While Eating”. Multiple players claim that coaches would subject the players to videos of “serial killers, drills entering eyeballs, and bloody scenes of animals eating animals.” Happy Halloween. Durkin defends this by saying that horror movies were only sometimes shown at breakfast to “motivate the team”. A horror movie does not typically motivate anyone to do anything, save for maybe influence a few murderers.
Yet another disturbing excerpt from the report was former strength and conditioning Rick Court allegedly choking a player with a pulldown bar. Said player was apparently injured at the time of the incident, and was struggling to keep up with the workouts the team was going through at the time. Court, upon seeing this, decided to push the lat bar against the player’s neck, choking him. Two players were said to have seen this incident, and the affected player;s mother knew, as did Durkin. No action was taken.
This report corroborates a lot of stories that had been whispered about Court, including why most of his previous stops were one jobs only. The man is essentially a bully who brutalized players just because he could, and Durkin let this happen.
The full report goes into even more of what can only be classified as abuse. Perhaps the most odd thing is that a good amount of the abuse does not seem to be physical, more so emotional and mental. One player is described as vomiting in a trashcan, and Court then threw the trashcan across the room, pushed the player against a refrigerator and then forced him to clean it up.
Hell, I pledged a fraternity and didn’t even have to deal with anything like this. Yes, I know there is a (very vocal) crowd who says, that, “that’s just football and everyone needs to toughen up”. Hopefully, if those people take the time to read the report (link will be posted below), they will realize how wrong they are.
There can never be a real justice for Jordan McNair’s death, regardless of jail time or firings. Court has already lost his job, albeit with a hefty settlement, and Durkin, who knew all this, is on leave. I am not here to call for coaches jobs, just the truth. At this point, it seems very unlikely Durkin keeps his job, in part to all of the above and Matt Canada doing decent in his place.
Is it right that Durkin loses his job in all of this? Maybe it is. But if college sports has taught us anything, it’s that often the right thing and the most beneficial thing are very different outcomes.
Link to the official report: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/sports/maryland-football-program-culture-report/3280/
As always, if you have questions, comments, or just want to yell at me, you can find me on twitter @JacobtheManley.